And it’s not Isaac.  Even though the remnants of Isaac have arrived and it’s been pouring rain since yesterday.  No, this storm is personal and it’s gaining momentum day by day.

Little Brother, David, has always been very needy and Mom has contributed to it by enabling him her entire life.  Even now, David lives with Mom and she pays the mortgage, utilities and buys all the food.  He’s lived with her for the last ten years and she tells all of us how much David helps her out.  He cuts the grass, goes to the store, runs the vacuum…yada, yada, yada…  Isn’t that what we all do?  And we do all that and still pay the house payment, utilities and buy food.

Still, we all know how David is and we love him.  In spite of all his problems.  And someone needs to be with Mom so it all works out.  Mom has told all of us kids that she’s leaving the house to David and that’s okay.  He’s lived there for a long time and the rest of us are pretty well settled into our lives so we don’t need it.  Besides, she took out a second mortgage a few years ago and the house is not paid off.  She has a house payment of $400 each month which is still pretty cheap.

David has a job.  He works for an apartment complex doing general maintenance.  It doesn’t pay a whole lot but it’s a full-time job and he makes enough to support himself.  At least he should.

So Mom gets sick and has to have surgery.  What should have been a week at the most has turned into six weeks of recovery including a recent stay at a rehab center where they made sure Mom could go to the bathroom by herself, dress herself and be able to stay by herself as long as she has someone close by.  She was released Friday and I was hoping everything would be okay.


Mom hadn’t been home an hour before she wanted David to call little sister to come and sit with her while he went out to get her some Popeye’s chicken.  Little sister has four foster children ages 18 months, 2 1/2, 6 and 14.   She can’t just pick up at the drop of a hat and come over to sit with Mom.  So she told David that the doctor said Mom would be fine by herself and he should just go.  He argued and said Mom was adamant that the doctor told her she was not to be left alone.  Little sister called the doctor to check and he reiterated that Mom should be independent and does not need someone to take care of her or stay with her as long as family is close by to check on her daily.

Two hours after that, David is calling little sister to tell her that Mom had an “accident” and she needs to come over and help her clean up.  Little sister goes over, helps Mom get cleaned up and changed and then tells David that, if Mom needs to go to the bathroom, he needs to help her get in the room for the first couple of days and make sure she has a clean shirt and pair of pants hanging in there so she can clean herself up and change clothes if she needs to.  David immediately starts whining that he’s not going to do that.  Mom is supposed to be independent and he shouldn’t have to follow her around and sort through her clothes and stuff.  Little sister tells him he needs to be there for Mom for the next couple of days to help her out until we can figure out how much she’s really able to do for herself.

An hour later, David is calling her to say that Mom says she can’t swallow her pills and they were crushing them and putting them in her food for her at the rehab center.  Little sister wants to know what the problem is and he says he doesn’t know how to crush her pills.  Are you kidding???  She tells him to get a hammer and a paper towel and just do it.  He repeats that he doesn’t know how to do that and doesn’t feel like he should have to.  Little sister has to take all four of her kids with her, go to the pharmacy to get a “pill crusher” and go over to the house to show David how to crush Mom’s pills.

Yesterday evening, big brother, (who lives about eight miles away and is a caretaker for his girlfriend who had a stroke a couple of years ago) calls David to see how Mom’s doing and David says she had another “accident” but she managed to get herself in the bathroom and clean up and then she walked out of the bathroom with nothing on but her shirt and a diaper and sat down in the living room.  Big brother calls little sister and finds out what David has been doing and he heads over to Mom’s to give David an earful.

He gets there and finds Mom sitting in a chair in the living room with no pants on and wants to know why David didn’t take care of the situation and why there were no clothes in the bathroom for Mom to put on when she did try to take care of herself.  David complains that he shouldn’t have to run around behind Mom trying to make sure she’s dressed because she’s supposed to be independent.  In the meantime, there’s Mom, sitting around in a diaper crying because she doesn’t know what to do.  She doesn’t want to bother David but she’s too weak and unsteady to take care of everything herself.

Mike totally goes off on David and says he has two choices, put Mom in a nursing home, in which case she’ll lose her social security and David will have to take over paying the mortgage and utilities if he wants to live there or step up to the plate and help take care of Mom.  David starts whining about how he can’t afford to take over all the bills and he doesn’t see why Mike can’t take Mom to stay at his house for a while since he has to be there to take care of his girlfriend anyway.

So now Mike’s furious, little sister is furious, and Mom is trying to avoid doing things she ought to be able to do but is afraid to try.  Guess I’m going to have to step in.  I had hoped to give it the weekend to see how things would go but I’m not comfortable with Mom being alone yet and David is no help at all.  I guess I’ll have to pack my bags and head down there tomorrow or the next day and try to help Mom transition to living at home.

By the way…I lost another pound but I think it’s stress.


mskatypie says 2nd September @ 13:53

I’m really sorry all this is going on Pat, and hope your mom can weather the storm okay. I’m no stranger to family drama, so I know how exhausting it can be and the whirlwind of emotions it can cause.

There isn’t much I could say to help, but just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.

patty says 2nd September @ 21:17

Thanks, mskatypie! We’ll get through it one way or another.

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